The algorithm of excellence: Nation’s pre-eminent “best of” list names Asheville

Bert Sperling, who annually compiles the nation’s most-read listing of the best places to live, this year places Asheville at number seven. Gainesville, Fla., made this year’s top spot — in the same year that the town’s University of Florida Gators won a national NCAA football championship and repeated as NCAA basketball champs. One can now expect the central Florida town’s smug meter to be pushed all the way into the red.

The rating guide “Cities Ranked & Rated,” available in book form and at Sperling’s Web site, lists Durham as the only other North Carolina city in its top 50. In the nice-surprise department, nearby Spartanburg, S.C., which is in the midst of an urban renewal similar to that which transformed Asheville to its current status, has been listed 48th.

— Hal L. Millard, staff writer


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12 thoughts on “The algorithm of excellence: Nation’s pre-eminent “best of” list names Asheville

  1. localboy

    Another factual error:

    The list also includes Greensboro/High Point and Winston Salem at number 31.

  2. RingoStarchy

    Not to sound like a bitter local (which I frequently misrepresent myself as) but I feel like this is the last thing the area needs.

    It seems like Asheville is having a hard enough time as is adjusting to the continued influx of newcomers without having to deal with a sudden crush of WASP’s, whose presence will only serve to snuff out that last breath of spirit that made Asheville such a great place to be in the 90’s.

    Eh, scratch that bit about not sounding bitter.

  3. I was on Patton Avenue West this afternoon… there was so much traffic stopped at the red lights that the intersections were blocked!

    We DO NOT NEED more people! … in fact, it would be right neighborly if some of you of the northern persuasion, who recently moved here, would volunteer to go back from whence you came.


  4. friendtoall

    Wow. What ever happened to Southern Hospitality?

    Hate to break the news, “Author”, but bad drivers and annoying people come from all over, and your blatant bigotry is sad.

    Do you feel that people from any persuasion different from you should also go back from whence they came?

  5. Our vaunted Southern Hospitality is what GOT US into the current mess, my friend. ;-)

    I’m sorry if you are offended. Tell you what. When you so graciously help us out by returning to “from whence you came,” please post your address and I will send you an effusive apology.

    Then, if you wish to visit, I will shower you with Southern Hospitality… Just don’t overstay your welcome.

    And… just for educational purposes… you are NOT in the south here… this is the Southern Mountains… an entirely different culture and heritage.

  6. Ayana Dusenberry

    So, “author”, you must be Native American?

    And you’re right.

    Less of these pesky, good for nothing Notherners, and more lovely, open-minded, generous, Southern Mountain Folk like you!

  7. As a matter of fact, I am part Cherokee as are many mountain folk.

    But… let me see, you flatlanders come up here and cause problems then wonder why it creates resentment? We jest LOVE zoning and all that other stuff that’s taking away our freedom.

    Still, don’t mistake us. It’s not that we dislike you as people; in fact, most of you are pretty nice. It’s must that we don’t like what you stand for. Come up here and blend in, that’s what people what done up until very recently and everything was fine. But there is a great deal of pure northern arrogance coming down from the patronizing heights and many of us don’t like it. In fact, I suspect you guys don’t like it or you would have stayed up North. Come in and be welcome, just quit trying to change our ways.

    After all, we KNOW the mountains are a better place to live than New Jersey, we done figured THAT out generations ago.


  8. Rizzian

    For what it’s worth, the Asheville area isn’t going to be so nice for very long. Too many people, not enough infrastructure and an absurd housing bubble ripe for popping should see to that soon enough. Nice while it lasted, though.

  9. RingoStarchy

    Asheville’s time as a “nice place” came and went in the 90’s.

  10. Bluie

    For what it is worth I enjoy having a diverse population living here in Asheville. One of the problems is those who move here with their incomes in other areas or states and contribute nothing to the local economy. Sure they build a Mega Mc Mansion on the side of what once was a beautiful mountain side. So let’s invite more in to destroy the main reason people come here. Let’s fund our city on Taxes of this property, spread the city boarders to keep up. Just ask the people who live out at Enka …. Excuse me Biltmore lake. Take a look at South Asheville, it looks more and more like Charlotte everyday. The ones who suffer are the people who want to call Asheville home, but can’t support themselves with the ever increasing home and land prices. I have seen the home prices in my neighborhood skyrocket to the point that if I sold my home I could not afford to build or buy another within Buncombe county. What restaurant worker, store clerk, or manufacturing worker could ever hope to afford to purchase land or even build a house when the lot prices exceed what a home would cost. We can survive being on the top 10 list if we are smart, but lets face it when we are built out and sprawled out where will we be on this list?

  11. I hope more people come to Asheville. Being a person who is fueled by hatred, I am fast running out of people to not like.

    I find it ironic that people who have moved here within the last 10 years talk about protecting the town, and yet people like me who have lived here almost thirty are considered yokels for voicing similar concerns.

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